How it started:
When I first moved into this house, I saw so many birds in the woods out back and on the trees in front that I wanted to coax them out a bit so I could see them better. My mom had a few feeders and shepherd’s hooks so she was kind enough to get me started. A few months later and thanks to some great friends, I have three seed feeders and two hummingbird feeders, but that will continue to grow.
It was interesting to watch the birds acclimate to the feeders.
- It seemed that for the seed feeders, the Carolina Chickadees were the first to test them out.
- For the hummingbird feeders, the red wasps were the first to drink.
Birds at the Feeder:
So far, the bird feeders are attracting little red-speckled House Finches and possibly some Purple Finches, too, but I am not completely sure I can tell them apart, yet. Goldfinches abound to the point that I found out a group of finches is called a “charm”. So I am charmed by finches regularly.
Carolina Chickadees visit fairly often, too. There is another bird that is new to the feeder as of September, but is very skittish. My guess is that it is a Tufted Titmouse although he has no rust colors on him; just grey with black eye-rings and a crest. He never stays long enough for me to get a photo and I’ve only seen him twice so far.
Mourning Doves settle in below the feeders to feast on the leftovers fallen to the ground. (Occasionally, so does a chipmunk and the groundhog.)
I tried to put out some suet, but the birds did not pick up on it and after a week or so I switched it out with another hummingbird feeder. I had no idea how many Ruby-throated Hummingbirds there are until I put the feeders out; nor did I know how territorial they are. Now there are hummingbird wars, but that will be a different post.
Birds in the Wild:
Before the feeders were installed, I saw an Indigo Bunting on occasion, but I haven’t seen him lately or I’d get a photo that isn’t behind a window screen.
There are, of course, the usual Robins, Cardinals, Starlings, and a few Mockingbirds around. That is typical.
Some days Blue-gray Gnatcatchers can be see at the tree line flitting around catching bugs.
Less typical, I used to watch this red bird in the back woods. It would only come to the edge of the woods so it was a little difficult to determine the type. I knew it was a Tanager since it had no crest like a Cardinal but was bright red all over.
Finally, one day he flew out closer to my windows, although still in the tree line, so that I could see his dark black-edged wings. He was a Scarlet Tanager and he seemed to want me to know it. How cool was that?!? I haven’t seen him recently, so he has probably moved on, but it gave me hours of entertainment.
One of the most interesting sightings was the hawk in my side yard. I looked out the window of my office and he was a head taller than a big stone that sits in my garden area. I grabbed my phone and took a few pictures before he flew away.
Another day around lunchtime, I happened to look out the front window at the creek. Wouldn’t you know, I saw a Great Blue Heron fishing for his lunch.
I had seen him once before as I was sitting on the porch. He flew out of the creek right in front of my and his wingspan startled me. He’s so big! While it is sometimes difficult to capture these beautiful creates, I was glad to get a few shots of him.
What I was not able to get a few shots of was the Pileated Woodpecker. I saw him one morning around 10am pecking on the Black Walnut tree in front of my house. Until that point in time, I really thought Woody the Woodpecker was some sort of exaggeration of a Red-Headed Woodpecker. I found out that day how wrong I was. This guy was HUGE! I stared at him for a while before trying to grab my camera. He scooted up the tree a little too fast, though, and I lost him. I keep hoping he will come back. That was awesome!
The next day after I had invested in a decent pair of binoculars, I was looking for the Pileated Woodpeacker, whom I now call Woody. I did not see him, but I did see two Red-bellied Woodpeckers pecking away. That was cool, too. (I need a camera with enough zoom to capture these beauties.)
More recently, I was sitting on my front porch watching a large moth or butterfly flopping around the eaves right in front of me when out of nowhere a bird swooped in and ate it. Right in front of me. Wow. The cycle of life.
See a more detailed list of all of the animal sightings on my Wild Sightings page.
Birds and Windows:
Lately, I have been having a problem with birds running into my windows.
So far, it’s mostly the hummingbirds as they fight over the feeder in the back. More on that later, but here are some resources that will help prevent birds from running into your windows (also found in the Wild References section of my website):